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Conman posing as Thackeray aide held for extortion

A 45-year-old man was arrested for trying to extort money from shopkeepers in South Mumbai while posing as a Shiv Sainik and a close aide of Sena President Uddhav Thackeray. The accused, identified as Padhmaraj Jagannath Shivalkar, a resident of Virar, approached Nita Sanjay Modi, the owner of Pesley Design Boutique at Bhulabhai Desai Road (Breach Candy). Shivalkar was using the name Santosh Shinde to extort his victims.

On Friday, Shivalkar approached Modi and introducing himself as Shinde, a Sena shakha pramukh and a corporator from the region told her that a team of Shiv Sainiks had decided to donate two ambulances for the region. He said Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was to address a public meeting on March 10 and the vans would be given away on the occasion.

Senior Police Inspector Pradip Lonandkar of Gamdevi police station, said, “Later, he started asking for money from Modi to buy vans and also gave her his visiting card. Modi smelt a rat, as the visiting card did not look genuine. She went to the Sena website and found that Shinde’s name wasn’t listed anywhere. She called up the local area corporator and told him about the incident who asked her to approach the police station immediately.”

Modi complied. When Shinde came to pick up the first installment of Rs 30,000 on Saturday, the Gamdevi police nabbed him. During investigations, it was found that Shivalkar had cheated several people by claiming to be a Shiv Sainik. The accused was produced in Sunday holiday court and was remanded in police custody. Further investigations are on. 

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